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Henry Seely White Lecture - Megan Price, Human Rights Data Analysis Group

Date:  Friday, February 9, 2018

Time: 3:00PM

Location: Rockefeller Hall 300

Reception at 2:45PM, outside of Rockefeller Hall 300

Title: Record Linkage and Multiple Systems Estimation in the Pursuit of Justice

Abstract: A fundamental question following violent conflict is 'how many people have been killed?' This seemingly straight-forward question is surprisingly difficult to answer even during times of peace and stability. It becomes virtually impossible to answer during the fog of war. Despite the dangers and difficulties, in many conflict settings, individuals and organizations record what they can about victims. The result of these efforts are multiple lists of named victims. Machine learning techniques can help to make sense of these lists, identifying multiple records that refer to the same victim, even when those records may contain incomplete or contradictory information. Combining records from these multiple sources into a single list is only the first step - this answers the question 'how many victims have been identified by at least one source?' To answer the fundamental question about how many people have been killed, we must use statistical models to estimate what we do not know - to estimate the number of victims who have not yet been reported to any source. Only then can we draw accurate conclusions about patterns of violence and contribute to evidence-based accountability.

This colloquium talk is intended for faculty and students in the statistical, mathematical, or other sciences.  Please join us on Thursday February 18 for a lecture intended for a general audience.

About the HSW Lecturer:  As the Executive Director of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, Megan Price designs strategies and methods for statistical analysis of human rights data for projects in a variety of locations including Guatemala, Colombia, and Syria.  Megan is a member of the Technical Advisory Board for the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, on the Board of Directors for Tor, a Research Fellow at the Carnegie Mellon University Center for Human Rights Science, and she is the Human Rights Editor for the Statistical Journal of the International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS). She earned her doctorate in biostatistics and a Certificate in Human Rights from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She also holds a master of science degree and bachelor of science degree in Statistics from Case Western Reserve University.